2021 USAC CRA Sprints at Bakersfield Speedway

Johnson Takes Last Corner Triumph at Bako

Johnson Takes Last Corner Triumph at Bako

Chase Johnson took the lead in the last corner on the final lap to score his first AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the year at Bakersfield Speedway.

May 9, 2021 by Richie Murray

Taking the lead in the last corner, Chase Johnson (Penngrove, CA) scored his first AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car win of the year at Bakersfield Speedway. Making his first start in the May Motorsports’ #8M Fastenal / Coopers Propane Maxim, Johnson became the fourth driver to win using a 360 cubic-inch iron block engine. “The Demon” Damion Gardner, fast qualifier Brody Roa, Chris Gansen, and “The Cadillac” Cody Williams followed Chase to the checkered flags.

Johnson and “Hollywood” Danny Faria Jr. (Tipton, CA) tied for the night’s In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner Hard Charger Award. Chase ran from sixteenth to victory, while Faria powered from twenty-second to seventh. Point leader “The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams took home the Shawn McDonald Memorial Feature award with a sixth place finish.

Starting on the pole position, former Ascot racer Verne Sweeney led the opening four circuits. Troy Rutherford took over the top spot and led until contact with a slower car knocked both drivers out of the race. With nine laps down, Gardner inherited the lead and looked for his second win in a row. Charging from sixteenth, Johnson had other ideas and scored his third career feature win with USAC/CRA.

Roa topped the night’s Woodland Auto Display Qualifying by posting a time of 13.223 over the 23-car roster. That marked the sixth quick time of his career. 

The night’s 10-lap heat race victories went to Johnson (Flowdynamics First Heat), Austin Williams (Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror Second Heat), and Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm (All Coast Construction Third Heat).

The non-winged 410 sprints will return to action on Saturday, May 22nd at Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA) for the annual “Salute to Indy.” 

The AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks All Coast Construction, BillsJerky.com, Component Repair Company, Factory Wraps, Flowdynamics, The Gardner Family (In Memory of Jim & Chet Gardner), Hoosier Racing Tires, Huntington Beach Glass and Mirror, Woodland Auto Display, In Memory of Shawn McDonald, Competition Suspension Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Loudpedal Productions, Rod End Supply, Sway-A-Way Torsion Bars, surfnsprint.com, and Ultra Shield Race Products for their support. 

For more information on the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series, visit usacracing.com and the social media for USAC Racing. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: May 8, 2021 – Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, California 

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-13.223; 2. Austin Williams, 92, Sertich-13.236; 3. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-13.438; 4. A.J. Bender, 21B, Bender-13.450; 5. Jake Hodges, 4, Hodges-13.563; 6. Ikaika O’Brien, 11O, O’Brien-13.610; 7. Damion Gardner, 1, Alexander-13.714; 8. Matt McCarthy, 28M, McCarthy-13.832; 9. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-13.837; 10. Cody Williams, 44, Williams-13.862; 11. Ryan Timmons, 29T, Timmons-13.864; 12. James Herrera, 5J, Herrera-13.918; 13. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-13.919; 14. Steve Hix, 57, Hix-13.965; 15. Logan Williams, 5W, McCarthy-14.106; 16. Chase Johnson, 8M, May-14.196; 17. Austin Grabowski, 72, Grabowski-14.283; 18. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-14.487; 19. Austin Ervine, 21, AJ-14.700; 20. Travis Buckley, 21K, Kruseman-14.845; 21. Brent Owens, 71, Martin-15.218; 22. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-NT; 23. Danny Faria Jr., 17V, Faria-NT.

FLOWDYNAMICS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Gardner, 3. Gansen, 4. Roa, 5. Bender, 6. C.Williams, 7. Ervine. NT

HUNTINGTON BEACH GLASS & MIRROR SECOND HEAT: (10 laps) 1. A.Williams, 2. Hix, 3. McCarthy, 4. Timmons, 5. Grabowski, 6. Buckley, 7. Hodges. NT

ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION THIRD HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Malcolm, 2. L.Williams, 3. Rutherford, 4. Sweeney, 5. Faria, 6. Owens, 7. O’Brien, 8. Herrera. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, with starting positions) 1. Chase Johnson (16), 2. Damion Gardner (3), 3. Brody Roa (6), 4. Chris Gansen (13), 5. Cody Williams (10), 6. Austin Williams (5), 7. Danny Faria Jr. (22), 8. Jake Hodges (8), 9. Steve Hix (14), 10. A.J. Bender (7), 11. Tommy Malcolm (18), 12. Austin Ervine (19), 13. Austin Grabowski (17), 14. Brent Owens (21), 15. Travis Buckley (20), 16. Ryan Timmons (11), 17. Ikaika O’Brien (9), 18. Logan Williams (15), 19. Troy Rutherford (4), 20. Verne Sweeney (1), 21. James Herrera (12), 22. Matt McCarthy (2). NT

**Rayborne flipped during qualifying. O’Brien flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Sweeney, Laps 5-9 Rutherford, Laps 10-29 Gardner, Lap 30 Johnson.

IN MEMORY OF JIM & CHET GARDNER HARD CHARGERS: Chase Johnson (16th to 1st) and Danny Faria Jr. (22nd to 7th)



NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Austin Williams-353, 2-Damion Gardner-351, 3-Chris Gansen-302, 4-Brody Roa-291, 5-Tommy Malcolm-261, 6-Cody Williams-7-Max Adams-195, -Danny Faria Jr.-195, 9-Charles Davis Jr.-192, 10-Austin Grabowski-179.

NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: May 22 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – “Salute to Indy”